Wells Fargo gift supports entrepreneurial students

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton has announced a $500,000 gift from Wells Fargo to fund scholarships and internships for Washington University in St. Louis undergraduate business school students.

“This gift will help us recognize outstanding students in the Olin Business School and offer them opportunities to apply the knowledge they learn in the classroom to everyday experiences through internships,” Wrighton says.

“It is our goal to educate and prepare graduates who have keen analytical and critical thinking skills to become leaders in an ever-changing business world,” Wrighton says.

Daniel J. Ludeman, president and chief executive officer of Wells Fargo Advisors LLC, agrees.

“As a leading American financial services company, we have a natural role to play in encouraging and sustaining economic development in the St. Louis area while cultivating the next generation of leadership talent for our industry,” Ludeman says. “Our collaboration with the Olin Business School enables us to do that in a number of ways.”

Ludeman is a member of Washington University’s Board of Trustees. Wells Fargo Advisors is the local affiliate of parent corporation Wells Fargo & Company, one of the nation’s largest financial institutions.

“We are delighted to offer these substantive awards to deserving business students and budding entrepreneurs and thankful to Wells Fargo for recognizing the needs and benefits of such a gift,” says Mahendra Gupta, PhD, dean of the Olin Business School and the Geraldine J. and Robert L. Virgil Professor of Accounting and Management.

Four-fifths of the commitment, known as Wells Fargo Scholars, will fund annual scholarships for four to six undergraduates. Awards will be given to promising students whose academic studies align with the economic development priorities of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association. Other requirements for eligibility include maintaining a high grade-point average and holding sophomore to senior status. In addition, preference will be given to students from underserved communities.

The remaining $100,000 is designated for Wells Fargo Interns, which will support five summer internships for undergraduate business students with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship. The interns will join the existing cross-campus Skandalaris Center Internship Program, which places 20 students in local commercial and social venture startups.

Interns will be drawn from specific clusters such as sustainable technology, multi-modal supply chain management, financial and information systems, medical science and services, and advanced manufacturing and technology. In addition to having an entrepreneurial focus, selected students must have completed their sophomore year.

This generous support complements a previous gift by Wells Fargo Advisors for a visiting professorship in entrepreneurship at the Skandalaris Center. The inaugural recipient is Robert E. Wilson III, founding partner of Ouranos Venture Partners, a new venture capital fund based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“St. Louis is fortunate to have Wells Fargo Advisors here, as is Washington University, for its contributions are helping build a stronger and more vibrant community, especially in the business sector,” Wrighton says. “Together, we will use our resources to foster future business leaders and entrepreneurs.”

About Wells Fargo

With $1.1 trillion in client assets as of June 30, 2010, Wells Fargo’s brokerage businesses comprise more than 15,100 full-service financial advisors and 5,000 licensed bankers.

This vast network of advisors, one of the nation’s largest, serves clients through offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and in Latin America.

Wells Fargo Advisors (wellsfargoadvisors.com) is the trade name used by two separate registered broker-dealers and non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & Company: Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (members SIPC). Statistics include other broker-dealers of Wells Fargo & Company.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.2 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 10,000 banking stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com and wachovia.com), and other distribution channels across North America and internationally.

With more than 278,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in America. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 19 on Fortune’s 2009 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.